Lina and Vi: April 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bio Latina in our Shop!

Bio Latina messenger // lina and vi
I'm excited to announce that the Bio Latina messenger bag that I've been sharing this past week is now available for purchase in our Etsy store. Detailed photos and information are included in the listing. As a recap, this new messenger-style crossbody bag has a purple heavy-weight lining, metallic gold top stitching and trim detail, a wooden button closure, and two inner pockets. It's large enough to keep a small book or magazine (or really the load of stuff that's in my bag on a daily basis!)
Below is a detailed shot of the front button that secures the top of the purse. This button is one of my favorites, definitely one that I've had in my stash for a while trying to find the right project to use it on. I purchased it from a sewing notion and fabric store in Royal Oak, Michigan called Haberman Fabrics. It was a bit of splurge, but it's top-quality wood and metal, which really finishes this bag well.
Bio Latina messenger // lina and vi
Please stop by our Etsy shop to see more details!

Thanks for stopping by-

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Behind the Bag: Bio Latina

I'm sharing a few photos I took several weeks ago that show the work in progress as I designed and sewed the Bio Latina messenger bag this month. When I look back at these, I realize how much work goes into each bag - from the initial plan of what pieces are needed and the order to sew them together to arranging the fabric and ironing on the interfacing.

Behind the Bag sketch // Lina and Vi

I'm not sure about others who sew or anyone who starts projects, whether they are small or large, but I realized lately that the hardest part of sewing a bag is getting started. Laying the fabric out, measuring the pieces, marking them off, cutting, ironing, and securing the interfacing is my least favorite part of a sewing project. I'm not sure what it is - maybe I think it's the least exciting because it feels like little progress is being made and seams are not being sewn - but in reality it's the most important part of any sewing project. They don't say measure twice, cut once for no reason, right? The time and care it takes to measure, cut, iron, and plan the project are invaluable to the success of what comes out at the end and rushing or skipping this process always shows in the end.

Bio Latina in progress // Lina and Vi

Even though this is about sewing, I think it's true for many things in life - work projects or meetings, personal relationships, projects around the house, or even major life events. Making a plan can be annoying, depending on how large or small the project is. Drawing a diagram is simple. But taking the time to prepare the setup of materials and think through the process (and remembering to enjoy it!) can be tedious and difficult. There's no instant gratification. I'm not sewing a seam and immediately flipping my piece inside out to see if the result is good or bad. I'm standing in front of a steaming iron and checking to see if the interfacing is properly molding to the burlap. The impact seems so minimal at the time, but it snowballs into the quality of what comes out in the end. The early steps pay off though, in many ways - some that aren't always apparent.

So, even though I hate having to "waste" precious time during the weekday evenings to lay out the fabric and cut everything out, I have to be patient and realize the value of taking the time to do it so it doesn't seem like it's so much effort that I just don't want to even start the project at all. Everyone just needs a running start sometimes, right?!

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

New Bio Latina Messenger Bag

I'm really excited to share photos of a new bag called Bio Latina that I've recently finished for the Grounds line. This is the first messenger-style bag that has a long strap made from burlap and solid purple heavy-weight lining. The bag can be draped across the body or on the shoulder, and a quick, small knot in the strap can adjust the length so it works for any height. The strap is hidden in the photo below, but I will be creating new photos soon to post this new bag to the Etsy store where you can see the full length of the strap.

Bio Latina Messenger Bag - Lina and Vi
This was a fun project and something that I've been dreaming about creating for a few months now. You might notice the color scheme for the Bio Latina bag is purple and gold - the same colors that I used for the banner at the craft show last month. I love the metallic gold threading against the dark purple. It's a subtle and sophisticated pop of color that will work with any outfit. Inside the bag, the gold trim and top-stitching gives it a finished and fun look.

Bio Latina Messenger Bag - Lina and Vi
The inner part of Bio Latina has two pockets. One is a medium-sized zipper pocket and one is an open, gold trimmed side pocket. Overall, the inside is fairly large so it can hold wallets, small books, cameras, or anything else that can be stuffed into it. That's why the cross-body strap comes in handy. I often find it's easier to carry heavy bags that are distributed across my body. If anyone has lugged a heavy laptop bag on their shoulder as I did this past week in a work trip to Denver, you will know what I mean!

In making this bag, I began to think more about the challenges in sewing and especially in starting new projects which I haven't tried before. In an upcoming post, I'll be sharing some of my thoughts and ideas about this and more!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Make It: A Tea Towel

Sometimes sewing just needs to be quick. After a wild day at work, or even worse a long ride home in stop and go traffic, I rarely feel like I have the energy to get knee-deep into a sewing project during a weeknight. Honestly, sometimes I just need a quick fix to feel like I'm making something with my hands, and this was one of those projects.  I introduce to you the 30 minute tea towel.

tea towel //

I picked up this fabric remanant about a week prior not sure what project I would end up using it.  I knew it was still sitting in the original bag, not being touched for what felt like was forever. But really, it was only a few days while I was sick with a cold and that felt like forever.

The fabric a cupcake pattern with recipe text scattered about some random 'cupcakery' phrases in a black and tan color, a perfect match for the kitchen. It felt nice to get a project started and finished in one night, and not have to remember where to pick it up the next time I could get in some sewing.

tea towel //

Here's what you need:
A small piece of fabric - mine was about .75 yards and I used about .50 of it
Sewing Machine & Thread
Hand needle *Optional
Embroidery or Heavy Thread & Trim *Optional

Cut out a square of the fabric. I used an existing towel and cut around it using it as a pattern. I chose to do a .5 inch doublefold hem. I wanted to get the clean mitered corners, and although they are not perfect, it was a great piece to practice on. Once the hem is in place, fold and iron the towel to create creases where you want the tea towel to take shape. For an added touch, I used some old black fabric trim and a zig-zag stitch to secure it to the bottom of the towel. Finally, taking some inspiration from an Anthro tea towel I was given as a gift, I hand-sewed a few large stitches around the block colors in the fabric. These last two steps are completely optional.

This is a simple and fast project for any sewing level. I love that I found a project to use this fabric on, and it matches the kitchen. Now, the problem is that I don't want to wipe my hands on it because I know I made it! But, as you can see from the wrinkles in the photos below, someone's hands (not mine, of course!) have found their way to it.

tea towel //

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

New Spring Lookbook Photos

I realized today that the enormous snow pile that was comfortably nested between our driveway and our neighbor's driveway for the past four months has finally and officially melted! My sister and I pretty much had a bet going that it would be there until June. Well, it's only April, and all I can say is - it better not return back before June!

In the spirit of warmer weather coming in with Spring, I posted a series of new photos of the Grounds bags today! I'm not a photographer by any means, so I feel very proud of the new look and the bags all styled up.
Grounds Collection //
Check out the Collections page here on the site or our Facebook page for the full look book of photos.

P.S. The Etsy store is now fully stocked - including some random antique liquor corks that were left over from another project I was working on today. Head over to Etsy to see what's in stock to create a new Spring look today!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Our New Etsy Shop is Open!

I'm really excited to announce that Lina and Vi's Grounds collection is now available on Etsy. The shop opened this evening, and I will be continuing to list all of the bags in the shop this week.

The Cafe tote and the Costa Rica beach bag (my two favorites!) are now listed and available for purchase. I will be shipping specifically within the US right now. I may extend to international shipping, but that won't be for a while out as I'm just starting to learn more about how to sell on Etsy.

Please stop by the shop and check out the Grounds collection! I will be adding a direct link to Etsy on the website soon.

As always, thank you for the support. I hope you are having a good week!